Escape Room Industry Conference 2017 (E.R.I.C.)

It’s been a while since Escape Game Hub visited a conference so we thought why not jump straight back in with a bang?! We went to the Escape Rom Industry Collective (E.R.I.C. for short) and we weren’t disappointed. E.R.I.C was a wonderful meeting of great minds, of both owners and enthusiasts alike. There were some great talks, discussions and a beverage (or 5) shared.

The Talks

There were many talks hosted by established escape room owners about immersion, tech in escape rooms, creating mystery and puzzle design. A Players Perspective talk was highly anticipated, largely due to the fact that 2 expert escape room players, Sarah Dodd and Ken Ferguson, provided it. The Enthusiast panel discussion was also an insightful view into the good, the bad and the ugly escape rooms across the UK.

Maintaining Immersion

Time Run is an escape room venue which doesn’t really need an introduction. Hailed as an exemplary story centric escape game the musings of its creator, Nick Moran, were well received. Nick focused on the story behind the players escape room journey, maintaining immersion and building the world/story around escape games.

Escapement's 'Tescapehnology

Newcomers in the industry, Escapement, were next up. Lewis and Dave provided a hands on experience where they showcased some nifty escape room tech (or ‘Tescapehnology’ as they have aptly named it) they have implemented into the room they opened in June 2017. They provided an entrancing talk for escape room owners wanting to add some modern tech into their room.

Inventive Clue Systems and Immersion

The Bewilderbox in Brighton, the brainchild of Dave and Dave, is another must do escape room and they centered their talk on maintaining immersion. Their unique clue system (D.A.V.E.) was demonstrated and a discussion into how owners and games masters can remain in character when providing hints.

The Player's Perspective

The Players Perspective talk was provided by Sarah Dodd (almost certainly the person to of played the most escape rooms in the world!) and Ken Ferguson (owner of the esteemed review site, The Logic Escapes Me). Their insight into gameplay – the wow moments and the pit falls – was interesting to say the least. Although both preceded their slides with a warning for all owners to ignore what they are saying as they are a very slim proportion of any owners’ customer base. Their words were still sage advice for those trying to, for want of a better word, ‘cobble’ an escape room together. Mental, physiological and psychological impacts on players during their game were hot topics. For example, Ken explained that he is colour blind and therefore finds many colour based puzzles particularly challenging. Sarah mentioned that some players might find being bound somewhat stressful for their own personal reasons. These examples were not used as a catalyst to strip every room across the world of such elements but more of a reminder to consider your options when developing your games.

Enthusiast and Owners Panel

Finally, a portion of the public is often forgotten when it comes to escape rooms and they are – children! Whilst there are many child friendly games, Jane Norris of Norris Box and Jason Stroud from Thinking Outside of The Box provided their expert knowledge on how children learn and play. Both speakers had extensive previous experience working with children as school teachers and they had used that knowledge when developing their escape experiences. A truly delightful talk was provided by both and I saw many owners taking copious notes so watch out – there may be a new escape room geared towards children coming to you soon!

Escape Game Hub's Ambassador - Amy Dugan

The Enthusiasts and Owners panel was a humorous delight to behold. One of the many speakers the Escape Game Hub team were super excited to listen to (and meet!) was none other than our very own EGH ambassador – Amy Duggan! A great panel discussion and interesting insights into the players’ experience. Well done all!! We certainly can't wait for the next one :D

By: Garf Beeston

On: October 19, 2017